Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Meet the pups!

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2016

By Emma Rose

Rowan Public Library

If you have ever been comforted by a dog, you can understand why Rowan Public Library has adopted the Tail Waggin’ Tutors program.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors is a program developed by Therapy Dogs International (TDI) to encourage struggling readers to become confident and proficient readers with the help of a furry friend. First- through third-grade students may come to the library with a book, magazine and/or graphic novel from home or may select one from Rowan Public Library’s wonderful collection.

A library staff member typically selects a group of age- and grade-appropriate books featuring canine companions for the children to read from, if they choose. The child then sits in a quiet comfortable area with a licensed and seasoned therapy dog to read aloud to him or her.

The benefits of this program to its participants include, but are not limited to, an increase in self-confidence, reading skills, comfort level with dogs and excitement to visit their local library. The program invites readers with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate as well.

Currently there are three registered therapy dogs participating in the Tail Waggin’ Tutor programs at Rowan Public Library. Each one has a calm, friendly and non-judgmental spirit that reassures children so that they feel relaxed while they practice their reading skills.

Duprix is a beautiful jet black standard poodle who has been working as a therapy dog for more than eight years. He was rescued around the age of 3 by Charlotte Molrine and is now 12 years old. He has comforted those in need at assisted living centers, hospitals, and even at the Catawba College Library last year where he gave students some peace during the hectic exam period.

Oliver is a 6-year-old labradoodle (Labrador and poodle mix) who has been a therapy dog for almost five years. His handler is Barbara Teichroew, who claims happily that “she works for Oliver and not the other way around.” When Oliver is not at Rowan Public Library, he is on assignment, giving joy and comfort to those in need at the Glenn A. Kiser Hospice House, Novant Health Facilities in Rowan County and the Salisbury VA Medical Center. His curly white coat is soft and his demeanor is even softer.

Thor has been a certified therapy dog for two years and just celebrated his fourth birthday. Thor is a handsome old English bulldog with a great personality. His owner is Ida Ellams and this duo loves children, reading and other dogs. Ellams says that “Thor loves going to work and is always happy to meet a new friend!” While children are reading peacefully to Thor, he sometimes falls asleep and begins to snore. Ellams likes to tell the children that he is probably dreaming about being the dog in the story that they are reading.

All three Rowan Public Library branches are participating in this program, so call the children’s room at your local library for more information or to reserve a time slot at the next Tail Waggin’ Tutor event! Slots are filling up fast! East branch (Rockwell), 704-216-7842; Headquarters, 704-216-8234; South Rowan Regional (China Grove/Landis), 704-216-7728.

If you would like your dog to participate in this program, contact Youth Services Supervisor Jennifer Nicholson at Jennifer.nicholson@rowancountync.gov. Reading teams must be registered with Therapy Dogs International. For more information about Therapy Dogs International, visit their website at www.tdi-dog.org. For more information about Rowan Public Library’s Tail Waggin’ Tutor dates and times, visit our website at www.RowanPublicLibrary.org and click on the Kids Space link.

If you love man’s best friend check out these fascinating non-fiction titles about the powerful impact therapy dogs can make on their community.

“A dog walks into a nursing home: Lessons in the Good Life From an Unlikely Teacher,” by Sue Halpern;

“The Dog Who Loved Too Much: Tales, Treatments, and the Psychology of Dogs,” by Nicholas H. Dodman;

“Where the Trail Grows Faint: A Year in the Life of a Therapy Dog Team,” by Lynne Hugo;

“The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Amazing Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy,” by Marty Becker

“100 Dogs Who Saved Civilization: History’s Most Influential Canines,” by Sam Stall.

All of the above are available at Rowan Public Library along with many more to help you choose, train, feed, rescue, understand and enjoy dogs.

Learn.Act.Grow.: April 25, 6-7 p.m., headquarters. Bike trekker, fitness guru and author David Freeze will discuss the psychological and physiological benefits to adding adventure to your life while offering encouragement and planning tips for adventures, local and beyond. Register online or by calling 704-216-7734 to ensure your spot.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, April 26, 6-7 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. “The Watch that Ends the Night.” by Allan Wolf. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7841.

Friends of Rowan Public Library Annual Meeting: April 26, 7 p.m., headquarters. Free and open to the public. Willie Nelms will present America’s Music Down to Its Roots. His presentation looks at the past, present and future of what has become known as Roots Music in the United States. The historical origins of various types of music including blues, folk, country and bluegrass are examined, along with key figures in the development of these genres.

Rowan Public Library annual book sale: Friday, May 6; Saturday, May 7; and Monday, May 9, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., headquarters. There will be a large selection of fiction, nonfiction and children’s books available for purchase. Come find a great bargain in withdrawn library books, DVDs, CDs and more. Items priced $2 or less.

Fancy Nancy Tea Party: April 30, 10:30 a.m.-noon, East branch, Rockwell. Wear a feather boa, tutu, shiny slippers or fairy wings and enjoy an extraordinary time at the library. Light refreshments. Program is intended for girls ages 4-8. Call 704-216-7842 to reserve your spot at the table.

Summer reading registration: Begins May 16, all locations. On Your Mark, Get Set, READ! Registered participants may log reading hours June 12 through Aug. 6 to earn prizes, complete weekly book reviews to enter weekly program raffles, and attend special weekly reading programs for their age group. Registration is free and can be done at any library location or online.

Teen Advisory Board: Teens who join this board provide input on the library’s teen programming and book selection and discuss current events and issues in Rowan County. TAB meets once a month at each library location from 4:30-5:30 p.m. April 19 and May 3, headquarters.

Chapter Chats Book Club: A weekly book club for teens ages 14-17 primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, but all are welcome. Meets at Yosties, 202 N. Main St, Faith, Tuesdays, 4 p.m., through May 24.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Children ages 7 to 9 can practice reading skills in a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere. Reading Therapy dogs registered through Therapy Dogs International are available for beginning and struggling readers to read aloud to them. Reservations are recommended but not required. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m. East, Mondays, 3:30 p.m., April 25, May 9 and 23.

Explorer Club: Headquarters, April 23, 11 a.m.-noon. Investigate different genres through activities based on books. Programs for children in third-fifth grades. This program’s theme is: Passport Extravaganza.

Displays: Headquarters, Family Crisis Council of Rowan County and Lyra: Russian vocal ensemble of St. Petersburg, Russia. Concert May 1 at St. John’s Lutheran Church; South, Golden Bobbins, Marge Harbaugh; East, photography, Shane Tolliver.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.

Weekly events for children through April 30:

Baby Time  Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays,  10 a.m.

Toddler Time — Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.

Tiny Tumblers  South, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschool time  Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Noodle Head storytime — Headquarters, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Mondays, 4 p.m.

Art programs — Art activities appropriate for preK through fifth grade. Headquarters, Art in the Afternoon, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, Emma’s Easel, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Art with Char, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.